My dad is 65 years old and retiring at the end of 2012. He used to be a decent skier (blues + moguls), but hasn't gone out for a while due to knee surgery. Then, his eyes started shriveling on account of being old, which increased the risk of a retinal tear during high impact sports. He says the eye situation has stabilized and wants to go skiing this year. He also floated the possibility of learning snowboarding because it'd be easier on his old man knees, though I don't think he knows what he'd be getting into.
Is he too old to learn snowboarding? Everyone I know who learned snowboarding had a rough time physically, so I was wondering if it's advisable for him as well. He's not fragile - he still does a lot of yard work, swims and plays tennis regularly - but I'm afraid that the impact of repeated falls or catching an edge will mess him up somehow.
Well it all depends on his health. The average doctor is a pretty stupid person today. They see people in 15 minute intervals and give them antibiotics like candy. Trust me, it took me AT LEAST 40 doctors visits with 30 of them being specialists to find only 50% of my issues, which one of which is an arthritis where my body actually attacks its own tissues.
The safest thing he could probably do, honestly is to have a stress test done with a good heart doctor, and then also have a bone density test done.
Explain to him that while on a snowboard, you are locked in. It is NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! like skiing when you can gently sit yourself down or, if you fall hard you might whip your head back onto the hard snow and ouchy.
Snowboarding falls are much much much much much more harsh, especially in the beginning. I recommend that he learns from an instruction and doesnt try how so many I see trying, flat boarding the bunny slope day 1.
learn to hold ONE edge on day one, and maybe even up to day 5 eventually falling leave.
Buy him some ass pads, and make sure he realizes that helmets are NOT option on boards.
If he has bad knees, he probably has bad elbows and probably even a lower back and upper back (neck) area. Common. The lower back will hurt but subside. The tail bone pain if broken can last a very very long time. I would recommend that asspads, a stress test and a bone density test.